Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Is there a publisher geared to the XYZ market?

I got an email from a non-library friend wanting to know if there is a prominent publisher for the young adult market -- she knows someone who might want to publish someone, and she's trying to help.

As usual, I didn't answer the question directly but I did refer her to two other sources which would be useful.

One is the Literary Market Place (aka LMP) -- it comes out every year and is a directory of publishers in the US. You can find detailed info about various publishers, and in the middle somewhere is a huge directory of US Publishers by Type of Publication. Look for Children's Books & find GOBS & GOBS of them. Then refer to the detailed info. for publishers to see if they'd publish what's called "Young Adult" literature (for teens & tweens). The entry for Blooming Tree Press, for instance, gives you the page number for the main entry -- which then gives you contact info, email addresses & web sites, # of titles published per year, and a short blurb about what they publish.

There's also something called the Writer's Market, which has essays & suggestions on how to get published, as well as a directory of publishers. In the back is a subject index, which refers you to publishers that address "Children's / Juvenile" books. You get more info. in the directory -- like editor's names, how much royalty they pay, and a few recent titles.

Most public libraries have both of these books. Happy writing!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Looking for Reading Ideas?

There's a great little web site / tool called LibraryThing in which people "catalog" their books. Sounds pretty simple and only moderately interesting.

The cool thing is that you can search anyone's library (see my set of books (all fiction) ) -- and if you find a book you like, you can use LibraryThing to find more books like that using "tag clouds" and amazon-like "customers who bought this book also bought THAT book". Only LibraryThing isn't commercial and since it's all done by people, the suggestions are usually much better.

Here are some examples of entries for popular books in my library:

If any of those books interests you, click on the link to see more about that book (including a book cover!), tags, reader ratings, and various recommendations.

It's a great way to find more books to read!!

This is called Readers' Advisory in library-land, and if you like this idea, talk to your librarian for more suggestions to find more books YOU want to read.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Searching PubMed

I've just offered a bit of library assistance to my eye doctor, who might write a case study for a journal. I wrote these instructions for her to search PubMed, easily accessible at http://www.pubmed.gov (it'll redirect to another URL, but pubmed.gov will work!).

Because she's writing a case study, I thought that reading a sample case study in her field might give her some good ideas about how to frame her case study. So here are my notes for her -- and you, too!

When you search PubMed, you can enter simple terms like you would in google. I typed in optometry and case study and this was one of the first results.

Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2006 Mar;26(2):199-210. "Improvements in performance following optometric vision therapy in a child with dyspraxia." (authors): Hurst CM, Van de Weyer S, Smith C, Adler PM.

The abstract & more information are at the end of this post.

If you want to search PubMed, here's what to look for & how to make the process very precise for you. Some librarian tricks, you might say.

In the results list, you see citations -- titles & authors. If you click on the authors' names, you get an abstract. You'll also see on the right a few "Related Links" , which is PubMed's way of helping you find more articles on the topic of the article. Sometimes those are useful but sometimes they're not. Either way, they're worth looking at. (The Related Links for the article above are listed at the bottom of this email)

Another useful thing to look at -- and this is a real librarian trick -- is the "MeSH" terms (MeSH stands for Medical Subject Headings). Those are words / phrases that librarians gave to the article to say more precisely what it's about rather than terms the author used in the abstract. It's a "controlled vocabulary" so the terms are a very reliable way of finding articles on, for example, Vision Disorders/therapy or Optometry/methods. They're not terms you'd come up with on your own, but when you look at them, you know instantly that articles with either of those phrases attached would be useful.

Some of this can be tricky in PubMed, so ask me or a librarian if you get stuck!

Abstract: SS, an 8-year-old boy with dyspraxia, presented for behavioural optometry assessment. He had been diagnosed with a subtle form of dyspraxia by his paediatric occupational therapist, based on poor proprioception, delayed
bilateral integration and poor visual perception. A full visual assessment was carried out. SS was given a programme of reflex inhibition exercises for 3 months. Then, a programme of optometric vision therapy (OVT) exercises was prescribed at home and in practice for a period of 8 months. SS was assessed using a battery of occupational therapy Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) before optometric intervention, and after OVT. There were significant improvements in fusional reserves, accommodative facility and oculomotor control of pursuit and saccadic eye movements. His reading level had changed by 4 years in 11 months. The SIPT results showed improvements in the visual and motor/visual perception subtests, confirming the significant changes in visual perceptual performance. Consideration is given to treatment modalities for dyspraxia, and the studies confirming their effectivity of approach. This case study provides evidence supporting the use of OVT eye exercises in dyspraxia, ocular motility, accommodative dysfunction, learning difficulties and sports performance. The need for further research and inter-professional working is discussed.

Related Links

MeSH Terms:
  • Apraxias/physiopathology
  • Apraxias/psychology*
  • Biofeedback (Psychology)/methods
  • Child
  • Eye Movements
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills
  • Occupational Therapy/methods
  • Optometry/methods
  • Vision Disorders/etiology*
  • Vision Disorders/therapy*
  • Visual Perception*